Being physically active and limiting sedentary behaviour is essential for health, wellbeing and maintaining a healthy weight. There is strong evidence that physical activity can reduce your risk of cancer of the bowel, breast (after menopause) and endometrium. Vigorous physical activity may protect against breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.
Physical activity also helps to prevent weight gain, overweight and obesity, which are risk factors for many cancers including bowel, breast (post menopause), endometrium, kidney, pancreas, liver and oesophagus.
About 1,800 cases of cancer diagnosed each year in Australian adults could be linked to a lack of physical activity. Even if you are a healthy weight, physical activity reduces cancer risk.
For maximum cancer prevention benefits, aim for 60 minutes of moderate physical activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day.
If you are currently inactive, any increase in activity is beneficial.
- Turn off the television or computer and go for a walk instead.
- While watching television, do some simple exercises such as sit ups or lunges.
- Have some active fun e.g. cycling, bushwalking, surfing, team sports, dancing.
- Be more active on the weekend, on days off or when catching up with friends – go for a bush walk or play cricket in the park.